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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 4, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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>> suzanne malveaux, thanks very much. i'm going to be back live for ac 360 at 8:00 p.m. our coverage of the crisis in the ukraine continues with "the lead with jake tapper." jake? >> vladimir putin says there are no russian troops in ukraine. regardless of what you see on tv. i am excited to hear his explanation of that intercontinental ballistic missile russia just tested. as russia has the world on edge, tensions are rising by the second. are we nearing a tipping point? moves at sea. it has seen empires and iron curtains come and go at this critical gateway to crimea and the black sea. cnn was on the water today as ukrainian and russia warships
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were making key moves. and the politics lead. what's the potential political damage to president obama as he squares off against vladimir putin, if any? does he have options available? the top foreign relations senators on both sides of the aisle visit "the lead." good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead". i'm jake tapper. a busy hour ahead. on wall street it did not take long for investors to shake off anxieties over the tensions abroad. the dow posted its biggest gains of the year today. let's go live to alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. alison? >> jake, you're looking at a classic relief rally. t the s&p 500 closed at a record high today. similar story in asia, europe, and russia as well.
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those markets were all in the red yesterday. they turned up into the green today. this wound up giving people a lot of buying opportunity. what is happening is investors are not on red alert anymore now that the situation is not as dire as it was yesterday. the thinking seemed to change when putin spoke. he kind of called off the dogs. analysts say if the situation doesn't get worse, concerns in the market will fade. jake? >> alison kosik, thank you. now to our world lead. russia has just test fired an intercontinental missile. the situation is becoming more tense and the entire international community awaits for putin's next move. this happened just hours ago during the border with kazakhstan. the united states was warned before the crisis in the ukraine broke out and that this launch was slated to happen. extremely concerned about calming the fears of the west, president obama who has been
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hammered by republicans in response to this crisis says, putin is isolating himself from the rest of the world. >> there is a strong belief that russia's action is violating international law. i don't know if president putin seems to have a different set of lawyers. >> but putin for whom madeleine albright called delusional earlier today on this network says he's acting in response to a coo against the ukrainian government. speaking at a news conference in moscow, putin described it as an orgy of radicals and nationalists. the russian president says he's not trying to annex ukraines crimean peninsula and that the forces in southern ukraine are not troops but merely self-defense teams. putin is not taking the action of force off the table to protect russian-speaking
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ukrainians. he called them brothers in arms which is puzzling when you hear warning shots over the heads of unarmed ukrainian troops. the stand off begins with one russian soldier warning that he will shoot. ukrainian responds, america is with us. another ukrainian pleads, would you shoot the soviet flag and then asks to speak to the commander so they can negotiate. the russian tells the ukrainians to back off and warns he will shoot their legs if they keep advancing. but, look, who hasn't threatened to blast off their brother's kneecaps? diana magnay is on the ground there in kiev. i wonder what you make of the warning shots that were fired today. are tensions rising there? >> reporter: well, it's a very mysterious situation here.
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tensions seem pretty high and then the next moment you turn around and have ukrainian and russian forces sort of having a chat and exchanging fuel to fuel the russian generators. so it is a very strange situation. effectively what you have, though, is russian troops encircling these places trying to make the ukrainians, you know, give up their allegiance to kiev and, for the most part, whatever the russian president is saying which is that there have been mass defections, we haven't seen any of that. for the most part, the ukrainians are sticking to their odes of allegiance. >> the missile launch today, the intercontinental missile launch, while it was planned, it is not a sign that putin is backing down or at all concerned about the west's thinking. what do you think putin is thinking? >> reporter: well, he's the
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master of sending messages, isn't he? look at the fact that he was conducting these huge military exercises on the border right about the time that the whole world got panicked about the situation in crimea and then on monday, there he is suddenly pictures of him in the control room at one of those exercises. this missile launch has been long planned. u.s. officials were warned about it before the ukraine crisis even started and russia does routinely, regularly test missiles. it was a long way away on the border with kazakhstan. so i think we can discount it. it was long planned but then again, it doesn't make people here on the ground feel any more confident about his intentions and whatever he said in moscow today, that he would only go forward to protect the people in this region, that he wouldn't annex crimea. he seems to have a strange pretext for protection, something that many people i've spoken to here don't really
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understand. >> diana magnay, thank you so much. president obama and secretary of state john kerry were on the same talking points earlier today on whether russia's actions in the ukraine were a sign of strength. >> there is nothing strong about what russia is doing. >> i actually think that this is not been a sign of strength but rather is a reflection that countries near russia have deep concerns and suspicions about this kind of meddling. >> but is this new talking point more about defending the white house for being accused of we weakness in previous foreign policy decisions? joining me is senator corker. later in the show we'll have on his democratic counterpart. senator corker, thank you for being here. i first want to get your reaction to this news that russia has test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. this was planned before the
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crisis in ukraine but putin could have canceled the test as a sign of good faith. what do you make of all of this? >> good to be with you, jake. i don't read a lot into it, to be candid. actually, i could have -- him calling it off might have been a sign of something else. so, to be candid, because it was planned, i don't really read a lot into it. >> do you think there's a chance that putin may take the diplomatic option that secretary of state john kerry offered? >> i don't think so. i think, look, they've got a lot of interest in crimea and they -- they are going to exercise those and they don't see anything happening yet from the international community. we're working right now to -- i talked to a counterpart today and -- at the european commission and we're working on legislation to try to deal with this with the administration and with democrats here on the hill and hopefully can encourage
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behavior change but we'll see. i think putin has learned that has worked for him in the past. it worked in georgia just a few years ago and he's done similar kinds of things in maldova and i think this is the way he acts when his interests are -- i don't think there's any sign that he's very concerned domestically inside russia that if people see people breaking away like this and aligning themselves to the west, i do think that is something that concerns them but certainly coming in with your military and staking off an area of another sovereign country is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. again, i think he's doing that because of concerns that he does have domestically within his own country. >> do you think crimea has been absorbed by russia? >> i think it's going to be very
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difficult to get the russians out of crimea. i do. they have a major naval base there, which i know you've reported on extensively, and i think at this point it's going to be very difficult to get them out. i think our efforts right now should be to keep them from advancing any more into eastern ukraine but i'm not giving up. i mean, i think he's violated international norms, violated international law by going into another sovereign country, by the way, which we all agreed to protect when they gave up their nuclear weapons back in 1994. they agreed to protect that sovereignty. there's no question that he's violating agreements that they already entered into but now to keep him from moving into ukraine even further, we can deal with the crimea issue as we move along but i think it's going to be very difficult at this point. >> vladimir putin spoke earlier
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defending his actions. he said military force would be a last resort. they don't plan to make crimea part of russia, though there are thousands of russian troops there. he did take a big at foreign policy. take a listen. >> translator: when i say do you think that everything you do is legitimate? they say yes. so i have to remind them about the actions of the u.s. in afghanistan, iraq, and libya where they were acting without any u.n. sanctions. >> so there you have putin invoking the u.s. in iraq, afghanistan, and libya. obviously this is not a popular position in the united states but do you think with the world community we in the united states are perceived as having a double standard? >> well, look, we acted, you know -- we had some degree in every case of working with other
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countries to make this happen. this was a unilateral effort on their part. obviously i saw where eugene robinson had a similar case within the last 48 hours, one of the our editorialists in our own country. but no, i don't think so. there are obviously countries have that have had a lot of concern about us being in iraq. but the comparison to me is apples to oranges and not even close. we should not certainly use that -- we shouldn't let someone use that as a reason for why he is where he is. it's totally ludicrous and not something that even should be considered. >> senator, you said that you are working with the administration and your counterpart in the european commission to deal with sanctions and the other things that president obama has discussed in terms of isolating russia diplomatically and economically. is there anything else that you want to do that the obama
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administration is not pursing? >> so this is a give and take on all of these and, you know, at presence i think people are all on the same page. we're going to have a hearing, jake, on thursday at 11:15 and hopefully we'll have a markup on this legislation, either tuesday of next week or thursday and, again, it's pretty fluid right now. people want to speak with one voice, which we all try to do in any kind of foreign policy issue and right now things are constructive. there is not a great deal of pushback. people are floating ideas as to what might work best. and again, we're having conversations with our counterparts in europe to also make sure that to the extent we can, we're on the same page with them because obviously that's much more effective. right now, everything is going along just fine. >> senator corker, thank you so much. >> yes, sir. coming up, a force on the water as warships race to the
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black sea. are they getting into strategic position before possible military action? but first, where it all started. we'll go live to independent square in kiev. anderson cooper joins us live next. predibut, manufacturings a prettin the united states do. means advanced technology. we learned that technology allows us to be craft oriented. no one's losing their job. there's no beer robot that has suddenly chased them out. the technology is actually creating new jobs. siemens designed and built the right tools and resources to get the job done. there was a boy who traveled to a faraway place
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. welcome to the continuing coverage of ukraine. secretary of state john kerry today in kiev scolded the russian government accusing president putin of making up reasons to invade ukraine and kerry issued a warning for russia to essentially reel itself in or suffer the consequences. >> if russia does not choose to
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deescalation, if it's not willing to work with the government of ukraine when we hope it will be, then our partner also have absolutely no choice but to join us to continue to expand upon steps we have taken in recent days in order to isolate russia politically, diplomatically, and economically. >> cnn's anderson cooper is live from kiev, ukraine, for more. what has the reaction been there to secretary kerry's remarks? >> certainly a lot of people i talked to today very much appreciate the fact that secretary kerry flew here, came here. in fact, the first place he came was right here to independent square. he parked here and walked back down. this is really, in many ways kind of sacred ground for people here in kiev and in many parts of western ukraine and even the eastern ukraine. there are thousands of flowers here behind me. this is just one of the makeshift shrines. there are dozens of them, if not
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hundreds of them all throughout the square where the protesters still remain. there's certainly a lot of information for secretary kerry visiting and meeting with the new interim president, the new prime minister and also announcing that the united states is going to be giving $1 billion in loan guarantees to ukraine. there is concern, on the other hand, that the united states and european union has not acted fast enough in trying to isolate vladimir putin economically and has not acted fast enough in offering help for the new government. it's shaky at best. while they certainly appreciate secretary kerry visiting here, there's a lot of people waiting to see what happens next in terms of involving the united states and the european union. >> those that put their lives on
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the line for independence, what is the sense of the protesters about how this will likely turn out? >> reporter: that's what is so fascinating here, jake. the protests are not going anywhere. they have not left the square. there are probably still hundreds of protesters sleeping out here tonight and every night and they vow to not leave this square until the changes that they fought for, that they died for and what they bled or, more than 80 people were killed in the square a week and a half ago. many still missing. obviously are still wounded. the changes that they say they suffered and sacrificed so much for, they want to see those changes take place, take root in the new government, in the shaky, interim government here. i think the protesters are very skeptical because they say in the past they've had revolutions that have betrayed and they vow this time they are not taking
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down the barricades and they have makeshift shields ready to take up arms again if the changes do not take place and obviously there's a lot of concern about what is happening in crimea as delays economic issues, which are so important to many of the protesters here, which is many of the issues that they fought over. so there's a lot of skepticism and there's a lot of concern about what happens now in crimea and certainly in eastern ukraine. >> anderson cooper in kiev, thank you so much. warships on the move. a tense situation as ukrainian and russian trips take to the water and cnn is there on the water with them. plus, republicans calling the commander in chief weak and divisive but are they offering any plans of their own? [ male announcer ] this is the cat that drank the milk... [ meows ] ...and let in the dog that woke the man who drove to the control room [ woman ] driverless mode engaged. find parking space. [ woman ] parking space found. [ male announcer ] ...that secured the data
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. as we follow the developments in in ukraine, world leaders scramble to try to find a solution to this conflict. now we see moves at sea.
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they are also raising the stakes in a key channel into the black sea. a turkish waterway. earlier today, there was a key ukrainian warship that our own ivan watson was channels off the coast of turkey. >> reporter: jake, this is the only way that any ship or warship can use to get to the black sea and to get to crimea, the contested part of ukrainian territory. the ukrainians are making a big show of their flagship coming in because there had been reports in russian media that the ship had defected and joined the russians. as you can see, the white, the yellow and blue flag of the ukrainian government is flying from this vessel as well as the turkish red and white flag. the ukrainians want to make a big show here, a point that
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their military is still in tact though the commander of the ukrainian navy did defect to the russians. they insist that the rest of their armed forces are still in tact and still loyal. >> and ivan, what are you hearing about the two russian warships that we have heard are also steaming in a similar direction? >> reporter: that's right. this morning two russian warships also steamed up this narrow channel, also headed towards the black sea and presumably they are headed towards crimea where we know there is substantial military buildup right now. so more vessels are headed in that direction, presumably to reinforce the russian presence there right now. the ukrainian officials that i've talked to have tried to insist that they are not sending their navy in right now to try to confront the russians. they are insisting that they are going to operate like gandhi, be
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peaceful, not fire the first shot but make their presence known. so to continue this very tense situation, that harkens back to the 19th century conflicts, the bosras were in control of the black sea. it's remarkable to be here among the warships traveling through this narrow and very strategic to reach the crimea much the warships did 150 years ago. there's an added wrinkle to this. a turkish military, and we are off the coast of istanbul, the largest city in turkey, they have scrambled eight f-16 fighter jets in response to a russian reconnaissance plane that was flying in international air space off of turkey's black sea coast. that does occur occasionally in the past. we hear about scrambling of turkish jets but not of eight
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such f-16s and it's perhaps a sign of how tensions are ratcheting in this area in the black sea basin in connection with this crisis and the russian military deployment around crimea. jake? >> ivan, if you could, because i'm not sure that all of our viewers are entirely familiar with the geography of this region, explain exactly where you are, where the ukrainian ship is going to and where it's coming from and the same thing with the russian warships, the two ships that went through the same straits. >> reporter: the black sea is basically a pond and the only way to get ships in and out of there, be they commercial traffic, tanker ships or warships is by sailing up this 25-mile narrow channel from istanbul, the biggest city in turkey. now, this morning, two russian
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warships moved up this channel on their way to the black sea and we have to recall, headquarters of russia is in crimea. it was rented from the ukrainians. we have another military vessel off the coast here. i can't identify it just now, jake, i'm sorry. >> thanks to ivan watson for that. when we come back, secretary of state john kerry just arrived in paris where he's meeting with the ukrainians. you can see live pictures of his plane right now. i believe that's air force two. the russians are sitting this round out. plus, isolating russia. threats of sanctions or a trade embargo. is the u.s. willing to go even farther to punish a defiant putin? we'll ask the members of the senate foreign relations committee coming up next. yup, you get it free each month to help you avoid surprises with your credit. good. i hate surprises. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and see your fico® credit score.
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wow, my excedrin reallye. does work fast. not gonna happen. excedrin ends headaches fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. excedrin. headache. gone. [ chainsaw whirring ] humans -- sometimes life trips us up. sometimes we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes
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arrives in paris. following his visit to kiev where he held a news conference earlier today, condemning russia's aggressive moves into the country. kerry also visited independent square in downtown kiev where protesters for months have been demanding the removal of the now ousted president in ukraine. when it comes to russia, the steps that it plans to take if putin and the russian government pass on the diplomatic government but where are america's allies? kerry was specifically asked about germany's role today? >> we will be having further discussions. i think the president will be talking with angela merkel and i believe we will stand united. i believe that. >> so we need to cut through some of that diplo speak. further discussions, more
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conversations, he believes that we will be united. that means that the u.s. and others and the european union are not on the same page. combine that with the uk saying that they will not for now support trade sanctions, it's confusing to know who is with the u.s. government. joining me right now is the senate of the foreign relations committee, democratic senator robert menendez. you've been in close consultations with the white house on how congress will move forward in ukraine in terms of aid and sanctions. can you help clear up which allies are with us? it does not seem that the ukraine is not quite where the obama administration is yet. >> our country has always led the world, particularly when we're talking about the potential of a sanctions regime. and it is that leadership that ultimately brings the world in concert. so it doesn't all start off with
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everybody calibrating the exact same way. that's not surprising. but i do believe that we can get to where we need to be, which is to create a menu of options on the sanctionable side. and as such, can face consequences versus the old command and control structure of what was the soviet union. so there's a big difference here in terms of our ability with the thinking, putin's thinking. >> president obama not only needs to negotiate with the european union countries, he also needs to negotiate with congress. i spoke with your counterpart in the house yesterday, ed royce. he said that you two were working closely and had met with the treasury secretary. but he wondered whether the
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white house wanted to be as aggressive as you and he when it came to sanctions. >> i don't think so. my counterpart on the committee, the republican ranking member, senator corker and i have a great relationship. we have passed every major piece of legislation, including the use of force in syria last year on a bipartisan basis. we're going to have a bipartisan bill as it relates to the ukraine. it's my expectation that that will happen both on the assistance side as well as a menu of options on the sanctions side. i think those tools given to the administration will put the administration in the best possible position to offer diplomatically and at the same time make it very clear of the consequences of not doing that and that is the one thing that putin understands as strength and in this case it has to be economic strength. >> you brought up your work when
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it came to syria. i interviewed you last september when putin published an op-ed in "the new york times." i want to remind you of your reaction to that op-ed from putin. >> i got an e-mail of what putin had to say and i almost wanted to vomit. >> so your reaction then, you almost wanted to vomit, that op-ed is certainly interesting to read today in light of what is going on in ukraine. >> well, absolutely. the reason why i made that comment is he was trying to tell us what is in our national interests. i would say now, listen to your own words. basically, what president putin was saying to an american audience about syria is that we have to stop using the language of force and proceed with the
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path civilized diplomatic and political settlement. well, he has used force in an incredulous way to suggest that there are not russian troops in the crimea which is just beyond reality but he has used force and instead of russian-speaking citizens, whether they be of economic investments or security concerns, all of those can be part of a negotiation with the ukrainian government and with others at the end of the day. putin has violated his international agreements here and a wide range of them and ultimately shown that he is pursing his vision of adding to the russian federation by force, if necessary. and i think that it would be great if he listened to his own
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words that he said six months ago to an american audience. it would be great for himself to listen to his own words and follow it here. >> i want to get your reaction, there's been a lot of criticism, as you know, by president obama of republicans. donald rumsfeld said last night, if we could play that type. >> we've created a leadership vacuum in the world and it is being filled by the putins of the world. it's the united states that has injected that instability into the world equation. >> that is secretary of defense, former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld who has injected this node of instability because we've created a leadership vacuum. what do you think of that? >> well, i'm not going to give putin any excuse. he has created the uncertainty in the world. it's his own version of russian roulette. the only thing this time, the gun is aimed at the int national community's head and that's why
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there has to be a forceful response. it is he that has moved russian troops into the crimea. it's he that is talking about that maybe, if necessary, he'll move russian troops into eastern ukraine. so, you know, i think that that statement ultimately takes away the attention of where we feed to have it. and that's on what president putin is doing, what the international community needs to do in response because i do believe that strength is important. and because russia's economy is different today than it was under the old soviet union, there is an opportunity to find a path that isn't military but that is powerful to change putin's thinking in this context and we need our european allies to be part of that. >> senator bob menendez, democrat of new jersey, thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up on "the lead," she knows him well and she says he's delusional. madeleine albright takes on vladimir putin for taking on his
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own propaganda. and a correction 161 years later. "the new york times" is apologizing over a report from 1853 and what it has to do with an academy-awarding winning film "12 years a slave." people don't have to think about
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welcome back to "the lead," politics now. there's a fine line between crazy and crazy like a fox. today on cnn, secretary of state madeleine albright had to say this about vladimir aputin abou his crimean peninsula. >> he's delusional about that. >> german chancellor angela merkel says she doesn't think that putin is, quote, in touch with reality. whatever is going on with putin's head, it has not stopped republicans from taking aim at, no, not putin, president obama. >> there's no question that there's a perception of american indecisiveness and weakness. >> people are being looking at
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putin has one who wrestles bears and looks at our president as one who wears mom jeans. >> joining me, jeff goldberg and molly, the president has been slammed by republicans for his response to ukraine. what other options are republicans pushing that president obama and the administration is not? >> there's really not a whole lot of difference in terms of what republicans say that they would do. perhaps, you know, slightly more muscular sanctions and tone is not nothing, tone counts. mostly they are saying, number one, i told you so. when mccain made the case in 2008 that we need to keep an eye of russia's intentions vis-a-vis crimea, mocked by the president, big laugh line in the national debate saying see, we were right and presumably that somehow a
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mccain or romney president would have prevented this state of affairs, obviously we can't know if that's actually the case. >> i don't recall -- and this might just be historical ignorance on my part. but i don't recall such criticism when russia invaded georgia in 2008 under president bush. >> it's a reflection of the intensity of the situation and the dislike of obama. it's politics, basically. my grandfather was born in owe des sa but that makes me as much of an expert on it as much as 95% of the people blabbing away about it. president obama is not worried about that attack from the republicans right now. he's just thinking about putin. so whatever this trip check of benghazi to syria and the ukraine they are going after him with is not what is on his mind at all. >> jeff row, you interviewed president obama on sunday. he doesn't buy into the idea
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that other countries, whether it's iran or syria, that they aren't convinced that he would act. in fact, he told you point blank that he knows the iranian leaders were worried that he would actually do something militarily? >> right. he applied without saying anything, obviously, that they have good information about the way that they react to his moves. his argument was the obanly rean he gave up the chemical weapons is because they actually believed that he would attack. and so he believes that his deterrent power is in place. obviously with russia you're dealing with a much larger power, a nuclear power, so the actions are more limited. but he believes that people take him seriously when he says i'm going to use force. it's an open question and different parts of the world including the middle east and eastern europe whether those leaders believe it. >> what do you think? >> what do i think? >> yeah? i think he's a president who has
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found himself using military force far more than he thought he would. let's put it this way, he's a community organizer who regularly has people assassinated. there's this biforcation in his life. yes, i have argued consistently that on the iran file, on the nuclear file that, yes, if push came to shove, if iran was go to get a nuclear weapon, he would use force. he told me very explicitly, one of the reasons that i'm so reluctant or it's so obviously difficult for the u.s. to go to syria, that would make four wars in the muslim world in ten years for the united states. so he is cautious but we saw not only in bin laden, obviously, but libya and the surge in afghanistan, obviously the president has ordered many troops into battle and ordered many kinetic operations. >> molly has an article out
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today and writes "as president obama grapples to resolve the expanding crisis in ukraine, it's a very difficult proposition, if it's difficult at all." she's the one who had the reset position with sergey lavrov, the foreign minister. do you think she'll be associated with this even though she's not secretary of state? >> i think so. i don't think there's any opportunity for hillary to separate herself from the obama administration's foreign policy since she was the one who cracked it from the beginning. to the extent that she's been out of the office for a year and the administration has made decisions since then, it's very important observation that to the extent this administration does anything unpopular, hillary is going to be latched to it, anything that is obama baggage
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is going to attach to hillary quite strongly. >> a new poll shows that 57% of americans approve of the job that hillary clinton did as secretary of state. 69% see her as tough. despite what we've heard about benghazi and other things, i don't know that this is going to hurt her ultimately. >> 67% of people probably know she flew in a lot of airplanes. it's obviously a very important policy that went on when she was secretary of state, whatever she did or didn't do and it's an important issue but whether it's actually part of the presidential politics, aside from the attacks from certain republicans, i don't think it will be a major factor in how people decide whether she will be president or not. >> very quickly? >> she has a personality, she operates more from the gut on some of these issues than from the brain. she's not de-escalate the way
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she is. >> thank you for coming in. when we come back, everybody makes mistakes, but "the new york times" is making good on a broop blooper 161 years ago having to did with "12 years a slave."
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welcome back to "the lead." today's pop culture lead. we all make mistakes in journalism. a few minutes ago i said crimea instead of crimean. 161 years later, "the new york times" has issued this correction for a news story about the freed black man solomon northup.
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his name was spelled two different ways and both spellings were incorrect. this happened sir interest in the original story and the old story went viral. an author who calls herself a terrible proofreader called the times today and they issued a correction. that's it for "the lead." i'll turn you over to wolf blitzer. mr. blitzer? >> jake, thank you very much. crisis in ukraine. a dangerous standoff. warning shots fired as tensions rise between russia and ukrainian troops in crimea. secretary of state john kerry visits the place were demonstrators were gunned down in kiev offering moral support and economic help. vladimir putin